How to pay for college is a consideration for most students, and choosing a college will often depend on how much they can afford. There are 4 Financial Aid Options for students:
- Federal (Pell) and State (Cal) Funded Grants
- Federal Funded Loans (low interest loans, must be paid back after completing college)
- Federal Work Study Program
View and download the Financial Aid Highlights handout.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid
Students apply for Federal/State Grants, Student Loans, and Work Study by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is completed by students with a Social Security Number (SSN) — Not a DACA SSN!
Download the FAFSA on the Web (FOTW) Worksheet to assist with planning. Do not mail this form! FAFSA must be completed online.
Create a FSA ID
Before completing the FAFSA, students (and one parent) must create a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID). The FSA ID is used to sign into the FAFSA website when completing the application, and it is used to electronically sign the FAFSA. Visit the FSA ID website to create a username and password.
California Dream Act Application
Students who do not have a SSN complete the California Dream Act Application (CADAA).
Learn more about the CADAA, including downloading application planning worksheets.
To maximize Cal Grant awards, students must complete the FAFSA/CADAA by the March 2 deadline.
A few days after submitting the FAFSA or CADAA, students can create an account on the WebGrants 4 Students site, where students can view their FAFSA application status, Cal Grant Award status, and if any further information is needed, such as a GPA.
CAL-SOAP LA — California Student and Access Opportunity Program – Los Angeles
CALSOAP Los Angeles seeks to increase the academic and college preparation skills of eligible disadvantaged students. CALSOAP Los Angeles provides support, services, resources, and opportunities to underrepresented students and families in the greater Los Angeles area in order to increase post-secondary participation and success.
CALSOAP LA helps students with completing the FAFSA/CADAA. They offer events and workshops throughout the school year. All services are FREE for students and their families.
Need Help With Completing the FAFSA/CADAA? Attend a Cash for College Workshop
Students and families can attend FREE Cash for College workshops across California for help completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act (CADAA) and Chafee Grant for Foster Youth applications.
The Cash for College Mission is to help low-income and first generation college-goers complete the application process so they can access financial aid for education and career/technical training beyond high school.
Visit https://www.cash4college.csac.ca.gov to register for a Cash for College Workshop. All workshops are currently virtual.
Apply for Scholarships
Thousands of dollars in scholarships are available each year! Students are encouraged to apply for as many scholarships as possible. Create an account at FastWeb to complete a profile and receive information about scholarships (and internships) you may qualify for.
View the Student Resource Guide: Scholarships, Internships, Fellowships, and Other Opportunities — courtesy of U.S. Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard.
Western Undergraduate Exchange
The Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE), is a regional tuition-reciprocity agreement that enables students from US Western states to enroll in more than 150 participating two and four-year public institutions at reduced tuition.